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France 2-1 Ireland: Griezmann spoils upset bid with quick-fire double

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The Republic of Ireland put forth a valiant effort, protecting a surprising 1-goal lead for an hour against a sputtering French side, but ultimately the hosts advanced thanks to a pair of goals from Antoine Griezmann in a three-minute span

The game got off to a stunning start when Paul Pogba tripped Shane Long in the box despite attempts to pull back from the challenge, and the referee pointed to the spot just 62 seconds into the game. Robbie Brady, the hero of the Italy win, buried the penalty in off the post.

With an early deficit, France flooded forward. Pogba looked to atone immediately, with an eighth-minute cross to the head of Antoine Griezmann, who headed just over with a good chance. Griezmann had another opportunity in the 18th minute, flicking on a Payet free-kick with his head, but it was right at Darren Randolph.

As France pressed forward, Ireland began a physical approach, turning the game into a midfield slugfest. Seamus Coleman and Jeff Hendrick found themselves with first-half bookings, along with N'Golo Kante and Adil Rami for France.

Following halftime, there were plenty of changes for Didier Deschamps to consider, and he settled on a swap of Kingsley Coman for Kante at the break. It was Ireland with the first chance of the second half, with James McClain sending in a low cross that forced Hugo Lloris into a full-stretch dive to push it away with Long lurking.

France would finally break through with the inevitable goal on 58 minutes, with a heavy push leading to Griezmann heading in from a Bacary Sagna cross. The winner came just three minutes later, as Olivier Giroud headed to a wide-open Griezmann, who passed it into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

The wheels came off minutes later, as a French break saw Giroud feed Griezmann clear 0n goal. Shane Duffy brought the French star down, and was shown a red card for the last-man foul. The contact was minimal and probably oversold by Griezman, but there was enough for the referee to send off Duffy. The foul was just outside the top of the box, meaning the French were not awarded a penalty.

The French controlled the game from that point on, cruising to the finish line. The hosts advance to the quarterfinals, where they will take on the winner between England and Iceland.

Predicting the rest of the Women’s World Cup

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The Women’s World Cup is into the final eight, with seven of the eight teams hailing from Europe.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup Power Rankings ]

The lone outlier is some team from North America who may or may not have won the last World Cup and can become the first team to win four of the things.

Who thinks they will? Our staff weighs in on the matter below.


Joe Prince-Wright

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
England v. France
Netherlands v. Germany 

Final
France defeats Germany
Wendie Renard of France celebrates with teammates (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Nicholas Mendola

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
USA defeats England
Germany defeats Italy 

Final
USA defeats Germany

Andy Edwards

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
Germany defeats France

Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Dan Karell
Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden
Semifinals
USA defeats England
Netherlands defeats GermanyFinal
USA defeats Netherlands

Kyle Bonn

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
France defeats Germany

WATCH: Stoppage time missile earns Curacao draw with Jamaica

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This Gold Cup isn’t short on drama.

A day after Haiti stunned Costa Rica to win Group B, it was Curacao’s turn to up the ante.

Needing a point to stay alive for a knockout round berth, Jurien Gaari ripped a stoppage time rocket into the back of the goal to defy Andre Blake and Jamaica a win and the Group C crown (at least for a couple of hours).

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Shamar Nicholson had given the Reggae Boyz a 14th minute lead, but Jamaica couldn’t find a second goal.

If Honduras beats El Salvador in the business end of the doubleheader in Los Angeles, Curacao will finish second in the group and advance to face either the USMNT or Panama.

If El Salvador manages a draw or win, well, at least Curacao will have this wonder from RKC Waalwijk’s right back:

AFCON wrap: Pote’s beauty helps Benin draw Ghana; Cameroon wins

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All 24 teams at the Africa Cup of Nations have a match in the books as of Tuesday, and we’ve got another tournament surprise.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Having already seen Uganda upset the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar draw Guinea, this one came when Ghana met Benin.

It was aided by a red card to Ghana, but the 88th ranked Les Écureuils (Squirrels) of Benin managed a result.


Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau

Scoreless at halftime, Cameroon saw Yaya Banana and Stephane Bahoken score three minutes apart to give the Indomitable Lions the Group F lead on Day One of group play.

Ghana 2-2 Benin

Mickael Pote scored first and last, giving Benin a valuable point against 10-man Ghana.

The Black Stars went behind in the second minute on Pote’s first, only to get Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew goals on either side of halftime to build a lead of their own.

But John Boye took a 54th minute red card and Pote potted his second nine minutes later to give Benin an early Group F bonus.

How about this sweep behind the leg?

David Silva will make 10th season his last as Man City

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David Silva says his 10th season at Manchester City will be his last with the Etihad Stadium set.

“It completes the cycle,” he said in a press conference this week. “It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years – that’s it.”

Silva turns 34 in January, and posted 10 goals and 14 assists in 50 appearances for Pep Guardiola‘s men last season.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

All told, he enters this one-year contract with 396 appearances for City, scoring 71 goals with 129 assists. He’s won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice, and the League Cup four times.

He was last capped by Spain at the 2018 World Cup, where he’s scored 37 times in 129 caps. He’s also played with Valencia and Celta Vigo in his native country.

The news comes less than a week after a fellow Spanish legend, Fernando Torres, announced his retirement.

But Silva seems like he’s got a bit more in the tank. Could he be one of the big names matched with Inter Miami for 2020? Or might he follow Xavi’s route to the Middle East?